Student project in contention for diversity and inclusion award

Thursday 25 November 2021


Head Up!, a project supported by St Catharine’s students and the College’s Master’s Fund, has been announced as a finalist in the fourth annual Bright Network Society of the Year Awards. It is the only entry from Cambridge among the 40 societies, sports teams and student groups from UK universities shortlisted across 10 categories this year.

Head Up! was launched in 2020 by a group of Cambridge students, including Mhairi McLay and Emma Dinnage from St Catharine’s. The project aims to promote the interests of young people with disabilities, physical and/or mental health conditions, specific learning difficulties and neurodiversity by offering them practical advice and support concerning their education and welfare. Thanks to a recent grant from the Master's Fund, Head Up! now has the capacity to support 40 young people through its mentoring programme.

The Head Up! project has been shortlisted alongside three other entries for the 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Award. Sponsored by BT, the category is designed to recognise the society that has promoted inclusion at their university and has supported their members to get ahead and discover future opportunities.

Emma Dinnage, third-year Natural Sciences undergraduate at St Catharine’s and Head Up! Vice President and Web Development Lead, commented:

"To be shortlisted in the Diversity and Inclusion category of the Bright Network Society of the Year Awards is a huge honour and a testament to the brilliant work of the around 75 collaborators who have been involved in running Head Up! over the last year and a half. We're very grateful to St Catharine's for all of their support for our mentoring program, and regardless of the outcome of the vote, we look forward to continuing to support young people with disabilities, physical and mental health conditions, specific learning difficulties and neurodiversity in their pursuit of higher education."

Voting is already underway by the 500,000+ members of the Bright Network to select the winner in each category, who will then be in with a chance to win the overall title of Society of the Year 2021. Voting closes on 1 December and the results due to be announced on 3 December. If you want to show your support for Head Up!, all current school/college/university students and alumni are eligible to sign up for free.

How to vote – visit the Bright Network awards webpage.